MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

I'm not ready to get off of this yet…

So WB was the winner in the X3/SR showdown?
And the X-Men franchise is worn out because… uh… it beat Superman Returns domestically, internationally and on opening weekend – against much stiffer competition – by almost double?
And why is anyone doing a Bryan Singer suck up story? Well, I guess they were done sucking up to JJ Abrams for the failure of Mission: Impossible III, whose final numbers will almost exactly match the numbers on Superman Returns… except it cost no less than $50 million less to make and marker.
POTC: Dead Man’s Chest $860m (and rising)
The Da Vinci Code $750m
X-Men: The Last Stand $441m
Mission: Impossible III $392m
Cars $376m
Superman Returns $348m (with 2 major territories left)
Over the Hedge $300m
And gee… isn’t M:I3 the impetus to throw Tom Cruise – who have 5 times as many $200 million-plus worldwide grossers on his resume than Bryan “2 X-Men & A SoaperMan” Singer and 4 $400 million grossers to Singer’s 1 – off the Paramount lot?
There is a likelihood that Superman Returns will gross less than Godzilla. God-muthafuckin’-zilla.
Bryan Singer has no history as a tentpole director. He is an arthouse director. And the only reason that there was an X2 was because Bryan was “handcuffed” by Tom Rothman’s restrictive budget on X1… or that franchise would have died right there.
And where the HELL did WB dig up Cheo Hodari Coker as The Journalist for Anne Thompson to talk to and to defend Bryan Singer? Is that a joke? Did Anne dial those digits with a straight face?
I love Anne. I think she is pushing a strong, progressive agenda for journalists. But geez, girl

Be Sociable, Share!

94 Responses to “I'm not ready to get off of this yet…”

  1. jeffmcm says:

    I don’t agree that Singer is an art-house director. He’s clearly a mainstream thriller director who has only had one movie (X-Men) with the appropriate mid-level budget and commensurate success.

  2. martin says:

    I don’t think Singer has established himself as any “type” of director yet. He’s sort of hit and failed in the arties and the blockbusters. He clearly “wants” to be dr. smarty mcblockbuster but supes showed that to be a bit of a failure. Anyway, WB throwing good marketing money after bad many weeks into SR’s release was a clear sign they were pushing for a certain number, 200, to have some solid ground to push for sequels. These HR and Variety articles are more of the same in that direction. Comparing SR to Godzilla is a valid one, but in this case it seems like WB will not cut their losses. Singer will get another shot, and there will be his “Wrath of Khan” as he says in 2009. He also says SR is already profitable. So who knows.

  3. martin says:

    FYI – Singer said SR was already in profit back at comic-con 2006, when it was under 180 domestic.

  4. Bilge says:

    I just can’t agree with the notion that Singer has “no history” as a tentpole director. He certainly has more history with tentpole films than he does with arthouse films. (And I’m not entirely sure THE USUAL SUSPECTS and APT PUPIL count as “arthouse” films anyway.)
    SUPERMAN RETURNS is a disappointment financially, but the notion that it was some kind of disastrous flop is absurd. Anytime someone mentions that it was a failure, they have to qualify that by noting the inordinately huge budget (a good portion of which has nothing to do with Singer).
    The problem for me with SR was that there was clearly a very good movie in there screaming to get out. It was drowned, however, by bloat. I certainly see no reason to doubt that Singer could make a very fine (and financially successful) follow-up to SR given a tighter budget and a couple of slices of humble pie.

  5. jeffmcm says:

    That’s what I’m saying. Singer’s movies are too big and mainstream to be considered ‘arthouse’ but he didn’t really fit well in the ‘blockbuster’ category of directors a la Spielberg/Cameron/Lucas. He should be making movies in the $50-100m budget range. Superman was too much for him to chew, basically.

  6. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    All throughout the Superman debacle I kept saying I didn’t like Singer. He seems greedy. He jumped ship from the franchise he helped steer to go make Superman Returns (a competing franchise) and then expects people to feel sorry for him that his film got it’s arse handed to it on a silver platter by Verbinski, Depp and co. Boohoo.
    And the same for JJ Abrams. I’ve never understood the praise. Give me a series that he’s developed to more than 2 or 3 good seasons and then I’ll start listening.

  7. palmtree says:

    I’m not only upset at Singer messing up a Superman movie. I’m also quite mad that he messed up what could have been a great X3 movie by leaving it. In other words, he left something he was good at to do something bigger that he wasn’t as good at. The Peter Principle in action.

  8. Crow T Robot says:

    Of course any piece that doesn’t sneer with delight at the soft performance of Singer’s ambitious film is a suck up piece. Give us a break, Poland.
    You should take a closer look at Thompson, she’s what you used to be before the ugly, paranoid psychology of blogging turned you into Harry Caul.
    If you really “love Anne” you owe her an apology for this jerky post.

  9. jeffmcm says:

    Wow, Crow, that’s an impressive middle paragraph.

  10. James Leer says:

    Yes, how DARE Singer leave the X-Men franchise instead of directing those films exclusively for the rest of his life. Especially when Fox tried to negotiate his salary down.
    DP, I cut you a lot of slack, but there are two things you KNOW are fake that you asserted as fact: 1) being “And the only reason that there was an X2 was because Bryan was “handcuffed” by Tom Rothman’s restrictive budget on X1… or that franchise would have died right there”…I mean, I have to believe that you know that’s not true. Yes, Singer felt handicapped by the first film’s budget, and we all read that, but to extrapolate that there never would have been an X2 without that? No.
    And 2) Singer’s an arthouse director? What has he made since The Usual Suspects? HUGE TENTPOLES. And he’s not exactly taking an Ang Lee approach to them. I know you hate the Supes this summer, especially in your thrall to the FGME, but I would HOPE that you wouldn’t let that get in your way of cogent analysis.

  11. Spacesheik says:

    I agree with Martin. I don’t think Bryan Singer has the chops to be a blockbuster director. He does not seem to have an imprint either as a commercial or art-house director (and this is coming from someone who loved USUAL SUSPECTS, but that was ages ago).
    He is inefficient at handling action; he can do short burts of action (i.e. the train station sequence in X1) and the White House sequence in X2, but he is not an action director. Visually he is ho-hum. If anyone liked the Genesis digital camera look of SR, they are high on dope. To me that movie was lots of browns and grays, and it gets visually terrible at the last 1/3 of the film when every other sequence is gray colored Kryptonite islands and crystals.
    He is not much of a plotter either. No comic book director worth his weight would climax a Superman film with a visit to the hospital, especially coming on after large chunks of exposition featuring Superman “stalking” Lane and the kid.
    I loved the credits sequence, the Brando stuff, the 747 landing in the stadium, but overall Singer did not deliver the goods.

  12. Spacesheik says:

    And another way Singer fucked up the franchise is by including the “Son of Superman.” WB is fucked either way, if they ignore the son in future sequels, a segment of the audience will be alienated (especially kids who wanna see “super boy”) and if they pursue it (as Singer wants) then that will alienate the traditional Superman base who dont wanna see ‘super babies.’
    Singer put WB in a shit position but its their fault for giving him complete leeway – plot, directing, final cut etc – to Singer. ]
    After over a decade of Superman failed cinematic attempts WB was so desperate for a flick they gave Singer everything. And now they gonna have to pay for it.
    What could have been a lucrative, crowd-pleasing franchise was turned into a religious parable about isolation and romantic angst.
    I am glad Singer didnt get a chance to do his STAR TREK movie and it went to JJ Abrams instead. Say what you will about MI3; it was a technically well made film with some great action setpieces and good visuals.

  13. jeffmcm says:

    Re: MI3, I’ll give you ‘technically well made’ but I think the action setpieces were only okay and the visuals, while nice and neon-lit, were still on the level of a big TV show.

  14. Dr Wally says:

    “All throughout the Superman debacle I kept saying I didn’t like Singer. He seems greedy. He jumped ship from the franchise he helped steer to go make Superman Returns (a competing franchise) and then expects people to feel sorry for him that his film got it’s arse handed to it on a silver platter by Verbinski, Depp and co. Boohoo.”
    Too bad – all i can do is offer some support to Singer and tell you the truth no-one seems to want to hear – that Superman Returns is, well, a BETTER MOVIE than the shrill, ludicrously overlong, grating and dramatically shapeless POTC2. It’s not perfect, but it’s made with some elegance and some terrific visual touches (the zoom across the Krypton continent all the way to Superman holding it up gives a masterful display of scale), there’s moments of genuine surprise (the piano), Spacey is a far more effective Luthor than Hackman was, there’s some deadpan wit too(Clark hailing a taxi). I know i’ll buy the DVD and watch it in years to come, something i couldn’t really say about the choppy Pirates sequel. The comparison to Emmerich’s dreadful Godzilla movie is very very unfair, artistically Superman Returns is a far better movie. I think a better comparison would be Minority Report in the Summer of 2002. Another beautifully crafted, expensive movie that was commercially difficult. In 2002 Report was outgrossed by nearly $100 million by Men in Black 2. Yet which movie are you more likely to want to watch now?

  15. Arrow77 says:

    I’m backing Crow on this one: it really was a “jerky” post and was totally un-called for. There is nothing in Anne’s article that was worth being called a “suck up” and even if you disagree with her, she has a case: yes, despite the BO failure of Superman, many people still believe the film was better than X3, that the film has little to do with this failure, and that WB’s better off with Bryan Singer than without. They may or may not be right, but calling them “suck up”?
    Yet again, despite having said many, many times that it didn’t bother you that you were among the minority who gave a negative review to the film, that you were fine with people thinking differently than you, you still react in an over-sensitive way when someone mentions it.
    I hope that now, you’re ready to get off of this subject because it’s getting late…

  16. martin says:

    All I’m going to add to this is that King Kong has been widely termed a “disappointment” in the press, and that movie cost less than Superman, and made over $150 mill more theatrically. So there’s clearly spin going on with the articles on Superman, some of it may be due to the fact that the MSM likes Superman more than King Kong. Which of course is a terrible reason to state whether it’s a hit or not.

  17. palmtree says:

    “Yes, how DARE Singer leave the X-Men franchise instead of directing those films exclusively for the rest of his life. Especially when Fox tried to negotiate his salary down.”
    You’re right. I’d much rather have Singer deliver the X-Men franchise to Brett Ratner on a silver platter. And the fact that he left for money reasons and not creative ones, hence greed, just makes it even worse. And yes, I’d much rather Singer direct good movies for the rest of his life than bad ones.

  18. T.H.Ung says:

    I like Anne a lot too, so I got to wonder how she feels about this, esp, being called girl…. Fortunately, she’s no Nikki, so you won’t get any screaming emails, or will/did you? Three points of view – AT, LAT, DP (one radical crunching break-down thrash-a-roo -DP) and one pointer -JW to AT & LAT with smarty pants comments on both liberal coasts and I got top notch seats to the show. Keep up keeping things thoroughly digested for honesty’s sake and the Greek/Roman Democratic forum. Is that big D or small d?

  19. Arrow77 says:

    palmtree, are you telling us honestly that you would accept to negociate your salary down for a sequel after you got hits out of the two previous ones? That your pride wouldn’t be hurt at all if somebody proposed it to you?
    And your last comment doesn’t make a lot of sense for two reasons:
    1- The movie’s RT meter is at 76%, so it’s not like he completely lost his touch
    2- No one could tell for sure how Superman was going to turn out before he actually did it and no one can tell for sure how good X-Men 3 would have turned had Singer directed it. He may have had only two good X-Men movies in him for all we know!

  20. palmtree says:

    1. Studios will always try to negotiate salaries down. Usually a compromise is drawn. What I think was not good was Singer leaving a project he built just because someone else offered him more money more quickly. Pride only worked against him with the belief that he could fart blockbusters.
    2. Singer’s X3 would have been better than SR. What people complained about in SR, the brooding characters and overly serious nature, was what made X-Men good. Sure, we will never know definitively, but it would have been way way better than Ratner’s version.

  21. Spacesheik says:

    I don’t know, Palmtree…I’m sure Singer’s X3 would have had more gravitas than Ratner’s version but the action quoutient and climax would have been weak.
    At least Ratner would never in a million years climax a movie with a visit to the hospital. We all made fun of the ‘day turning into night’ Golden Gate introduction to the climax, but you have to admit it was action packed, kinetic and had comic book sensibilities (Magneto throwing cars into the air and his cohort lighting them).

  22. jeffmcm says:

    At the same time, a lot of that sequence was murky and chaotic. Lots of flurried attacks and incomprehensible action.
    I do agree that Ratner is better at action sequences than Singer ever has been, but it seems like Singer’s X3 would have basically been of similar quality to X2. Is there any reason to think otherwise?

  23. palmtree says:

    Yes, X3 was fun, a good time, etc. But dramatically it absolutely faltered. So many character twists were in this film, including some major deaths, and none were treated with the kind of insight and emotional resonance I think they required. I left feeling entertained but also cheated.

  24. Arrow77 says:

    There’s no reason to assume otherwise, the only thing I’m saying is that it’s easy to say after the fact that Singer would have made a better X-Men movie than a Superman movie but it wasn’t that obvious at the time. And it’s also very easy to say after the fact that Ratner wasn’t the right guy to direct X-Men 3 but… No, wait. That was also easy to say before the fact. But you can’t blame Singer for a decision made by Fox! (By the way, there’s nothing in X-Men 3 that wowed me enough to make me admit that Ratner is better at action scenes than Singer. In fact, Nightcrawler at the White House and Magneto’s escape are still my two favorite action scenes in the franchise).
    And I really don’t think it was normal for Fox to negociate his salary down, especially in that context. The success of the franchise was definitely not a gimmee. In fact, it was a complete surprise and a miracle that it happened considering how little money they spent for the first film. When someone surpass every expectations, you reward him. But apparently, Fox thought the success was all Jackman and no one else…

  25. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    “palmtree, are you telling us honestly that you would accept to negociate your salary down for a sequel after you got hits out of the two previous ones? That your pride wouldn’t be hurt at all if somebody proposed it to you?”
    The thing is, Singer apparently loved these X-Men characters so much and really felt for them and all that stuff but in the end, he felt it was more important to make a competing franchise movie. They easily could’ve gotten around the pay issue.

  26. David Poland says:

    Wow Crow & Arrow… nice.
    Anne is a smart woman and a good reporter. And she is sometimes a suck up.
    Throwing bullshit at the wall won’t work with me. Anne and the LAT reported what they were told by WB. WB is, in the most generous possible interpretations, misleading these reporters.
    It’s not brain surgery. It’s math.
    Anne, took a position FOR the movie before I ever saw the film and I’m not accusing her of a vested interest.
    Doesn’t it strike you funny when all of a sudden two industry-driven publications run the same position on a movie that everyone knows will lose money? Do you really think it is something other than the same publicity that is used to sell the movies themselves?
    Maybe you still believe that Bryan is upset about THEY marketed his movie (which he had full control of). Maybe you still think that Disney was smart to pass on Lady In The Water… even though they didn’t. Maybe you still think that $200 million in rentals + past-theatrical = not only a minimum (admitted) $350 million production and P&A cost, but $50 million more in profits.
    If you believe, clap your hands.
    I’ll be over here with the calculator.

  27. David Poland says:

    As for Singer as a tentpole director. He is better than Mark Stephen Johnson. He isn’t in the same game as Emmerich or Bay… and that is the standard these days.
    What made the X-Men franchise work for him was that he did character movies with some action. But his action work is mediocre. It was a bunch of great characters, a bunch of great actors, and a lot of luck that Dougray Scott got stuck on M:I2.
    My point about X1 being the end if it was expensive is that teh sequel was no mortal lock when the first film came out. It made enough to make money and to risk a sequel that was more expensive. But if the original was a $150 million movie, there would have been no X2 with a $300 million worldwide gross.
    And for those of you who hate X3, fine… but if you think X2 leapt businesswise because of the quality and increased expense of X1, look to the release date and the franchise value… which also made X3 the highest earning of the group.
    Singer is very talented. But he makes character dramas, not tentpoles. And there is no indication that he has the skills to make a muscular Superman film. He’s not even Chris Nolan. Hell, he’s not even Chris Columbus, who at least knows how to milk for cheese.

  28. David Poland says:

    Finally… “Geez, girl…” is not calling Anne a girl… and I think you know that.

  29. martin says:

    David, do you think it’s possible that their totals include $ sources besides box office? Like toys, tv sales, or any other ancillaries? Someone brought this up on another post on the blog and it sounded like a possibility to me. No one can look at Superman’s worldwide box office and say that film is even close to breaking even. But with ancillaries and possibly the split-deal with Legendary, Warner Bros has gotten to black (as Anne’s story suggested) or will eventually make a profit (as Claudia’s suggested). Either way, it’s pretty repugnant to see 2 mostly kiss-ass stories from the leading Hollywood publications on the same day.

  30. martin says:

    Also, I’m not sure what planet you’re on guys but $80 mill now or esp. circa 2000 is not a “small” budget. Especially to be given to a guy whose previous movie bombed and the success before that wasn’t exactly big box office. Calling $80 mill with no expensive actors a “small” budget is crazy, even for a cheesy comic book movie. Singer did a good job with X1 and X2, but to say that his work was severely compromised on X1 because of that budget is a bunch of nonsense.

  31. Arrow77 says:

    It’s not about the budget being small or big, it’s about the budget being sufficient to do what it’s required. I liked X-Men but you can see it’s been limited by its budget.
    And DP, you can throw all the numbers you want, my disagreement is not about whether or not SR will make his money back but about the fact that you called Anne a “suck up”. You could’ve called her naive and I wouldn’t have any problem with it but there is something about calling a journalist a suck up that just ticks me off. It’s becoming very fashionable to attack the integrity of reporters or critics every time they express an opinion that is positive for the studios and I think it shows a lack of class when someone assumes that this person stated that point of view to please someone else.
    You want to counter with your own opinion, with your own analysis? Fine, knock yourself out! But calling her a suck up is just you overreacting.

  32. Martin S says:

    …and it never F’Ing ends….
    I knew the PR move was on when that useless Singer interview appeared at AICN.
    Thompson was pro-Singer, pro-SR before its release. She’s performing damage control directly on his behalf because Horn has still not signed off on the sequel and Singer cannot get any media traction because *HE* was the one who ran around screaming about the 250M budget.
    Doesn’t it strike anyone funny that we have a couple of different WB-centric articles about how SR was a successful relaunch – but no official sequel announcement in said pieces? WTF is Horn waiting for, what better timing, if he’s telling the truth?
    1) As Poland said, it’s spin control. Enough articles that mention “WB’s summer bust” is eventually going to affect the TW stock, (usually in the quarterly reports), forcing Parsons to clamp down on production costs.
    2) Arad announced Marvel’s upcoming slate barely a week ago, including an Avengers movie and Horn can’t match. For the average person that means little, but for Horn, he’ll eventually have to explain to the TW board and investors why he cannot capitalize on the superhero trend when he has control over one of the largest catalogs.
    3) TW has considered selling DC in the past. Major shareholders would rather sell the property while the market is hot than miss out. Carl Icahn has been a major thorn in Parsons side and was going to buy and break apart Marvel before Arad’s company Toy Biz out-flanked him. If he sees a failure in return, he’ll probably call for a selling of assests because the actual comics division has been a buried loss in TW’s books since the early 90’s. The division would be sold with the usual stipulations, (DC movies distributed via WB, percentage of profits, first-look, etc…).
    As for Singer, X3 and Rothman negotiating “down” – doesn’t anyone wonder what they were negotiating from, because it wasn’t Singer’s X2 payday as she’s trying to imply.
    I’ve said it time and again – the deal Singer got for SR was what he wanted for X3 and Rothman said no. Thompson’s being clever-by-half in her wording, making poor Bry-Bry sound like a victim of big, bad FOX. Bullshit. He priced himself out because he never planned on actually doing the film. It’s very convienient for Thompson to forget Singer struck the Logan’s Run deal while negotiationg X3 and that Horn promised to fast-track it, which was going to put its schedule at odds with X3.
    SR is the latest Godzilla, Hulk or Planet of The Apes. Another rushed production with an obscene amount of money thrown at it that didn’t pay off. What I love about these pieces is that the writers act like a studio dumps 200M+ at a film and feels relieved it broke even, when everyone knows the business formula is Big Money = Big Returns.
    Thompson Should be embarrased, but anyone who quotes Don Murphy after he just inked a deal to produce a DC character has little shame to begin with.
    As for the “arthouse” comment – here’s why Poland is right. If Singer made the same film for half the budget, using either an unknown superhero or an original creation, he’d be Academy buzz because of his “unique take of the superhero archetype and the nuclear family” or some such line. Instead, he did it to Superman because that’s where he believed the instantanious gratification could be found.

  33. martin says:

    Wait a minute, they’re making another Avengers movie???

  34. David Poland says:

    Arrow – I think you are using the word “overreating” as some sort of blanket comment.
    I don’t spend all my time calling Anne names or questioning her decision making on what to run. She’s not dumb. She’s not unaware. So YOU find the right word to explain runing a story that suggests that a money loser is a winner and that Bryan Singer – who is not owned by WB, in any case – makes this a win for WB and a relative loss for Fox.
    And let’s not even start with what the people who work at WB think of Mr. Singer and his endless, often extreme demands, even after the movie started to show it wasn’t going to be a homerun.
    Even the footage that he announced during his (hardy har) victory lap at ComicCon would not be in the DVD. Does anyone believe that it’s not just a scam to try to squeeze a second DVD out because of “fan demand?”
    You tell me the phrase you like…

  35. SpamDooley says:

    It is threads like these that made me stop gracing the blog with my presence.
    I mean seriously, how fucking lost and miserable are you people.
    Very few films actually lose money for the studio. I think STEALTH was the only one in 05.
    Superman Returns is not one of them.
    No matter what young David screams, it just ain’t so.
    The old development costs are written off in precious fiscal years.
    The Superman Franchise NOW exists.
    Warners will break even on the film. NOW, that is disappointing- it is not what they wanted. They wanted to make a lot of money. But now they own Singer. He’ll go do Castro Street and then Super2 and that will do very well indeed if they lock him to $150 budget as Legendary intends to do.
    As far as some of your guys’ other ranting, it is all so …sad. Like “Listen to me I know shit” when you don’t. Don Murphy is producing THREE DC Comics films per Studio Systems. And? His quote merely said IF they make a TWO then it will have been a plus for Warners. That makes sense.
    Of course they are gonna have three or four dvds.
    SO WHAT? Don’t buy them if it bugs you.
    I am SPAM DOOLEY and I Canoe.

  36. martin says:

    Spam, explain to me how $400 million worldwide, on a $209 million movie breaks even? Lets say that $209 gets back to the studios after theaters take their cut. The movie had over $80 million in marketing worldwide, so their at least in the hole that much before ancillaries. That movies a loser, no matter how many accountants try to work their magic. This of course has nothing to do with the quality of the movie, but it does suggest every remark about “profitability” is a desperate attempt to keep a nearly defunct franchise afloat.

  37. martin says:

    Also, in those numbers we’re not taking into account points that go to Singer and producers, as well as the possibility that the shooting budget was, as Singer said at Comic-Con, $250 million. The only way they have a shot at breaking even is with toys, DVDs, etc. And for a mega-blockbuster, that’s just bad business.

  38. Joe Leydon says:

    Er, Martin: Not THOSE Avengers. Other Avengers.

  39. jeffmcm says:

    I have a pretty strong feeling that no Marvel Avengers movie will ever be made. First they have to have at least reasonable successes with Iron Man and Thor movies, and to do a movie on the scale of Avengers will require an enormous budget, by which point the comics boom will probably be over.
    Or they could just do it crappy-like, as with Fantastic Four.

  40. David Poland says:

    SPAM…if you think WB will only break even, then how can you be sure that they will?
    Your argument that it never happens is kinda screwed by WB claiming that four films will lose money this year. No?

  41. SpamDooley says:

    You made it clear yourself. They’ll break even on the negative cost from Box Office (50% btw way is LOW for a Warners but I’ll give it to you) then BARELY scrape even on worldwide DVD and TV etc.
    I am not arguing that it is GOOD business, boyo. But they will not lose a dime on Supes. Now again- THEY WANTED TO MAKE MONEY. So it still sucks.
    David Poman
    Lissen Here-
    1- You think the studios WANT you to follow them?
    2- They WILL lose money – at the box office- on those four films.
    3- Do the math- these guys DO NOT GREENLIGHT a film unless the worst case ( a wash) is a lock.
    Only on a major miscalc- like Stealth which cost 100 plus 35 to market and MAYBE returned 50 worldwide- do they ever lose money.
    It just doesn’t happen- they have put deals and pay and free tv WORLD WIDE.
    I am Spam Dooley and I Love you all.

  42. Crow T Robot says:

    “I’ll be over here with the calculator.”
    heheheh — I suddenly have this weird picture in my head of Thompson as Pam Beesly and DP as Dwight Schrute in NBC’s “The Office.”

  43. jeffmcm says:

    If the studios lost money so infrequently, they would take more risks and greenlight more interesting movies. It’s just not the case.

  44. Spacesheik says:

    Interesting POSEIDON on DVD is or will be out in a few days…I don’t remember a summer tentpole film being released on DVD before the summer even ended.
    Damn…I guess WB wants to milk the film and cut its losses as much as they can.
    I may be wrong but I don’t even remember such a quick summer movie > DVD release.

  45. Spacesheik says:

    Quick question on SR: videogames, toys, ringtones, soundtracks etc (not including dvd) – does the studio keep most of the profits?
    How are the toys doing by the way? Are they a bomb like the ones from PHANTOM MENACE collecting dust or are they being bought?
    What about the videogames?

  46. Spacesheik says:

    I keep reading about the XMEN 2 White House sequence and how masterful it is; yes, it’s a small, decent action set piece, well edited, but even that sequence seems lifted from SUPERMAN II when Zod and co. invade the White House and kick all sorts of arse. Nothing original about it.

  47. jeffmcm says:

    Its use of music is well-done.

  48. palmtree says:

    The Superman video game has not come out yet and is probably going to be timed to coincide with the DVD release of the movie. WB will get money from licensing it to EA, but that’s only because WB owns DC.

  49. Spacesheik says:

    Thx for the game update, Palm.

  50. SpamDooley says:

    Like most Po-Disciples you say shit that makes no sense and hope we all listen.
    Whether most films make or lose money is irrelevant to the green light process. When exec A greenlights a film he does so in the hopes it would MAKE tens of millions of dollars. He does so based on his gut, basically. He places movies stars in there to defend himself against his bosses should it flop. You don’t get “interesting” because you won’t lose money. I keep repeating to you goons- breaking even is a waste of time.
    Palmtree agains speaks without knowing shit. Videogame license fees based on a movie (no matter what the original source of the film) goes to the studio. When GHOST RIDER bombs, you can be sure that Sony still gets the license fee from whatever vid co. They probably pay a percentage to Marvel but THEY get it.
    I am Spam Dooley and education is hard work!

  51. Lota says:

    Mr. Dooley,
    “When GHOST RIDER bombs…”
    have you seen any footage that indicate ‘bombs away?’…don;t like Nic Cage much but I was hoping it this movie would be ok. Sam Elliot rocks.
    I am Lota and I use rainwater and Aveda

  52. SpamDooley says:

    Mark Steven Johnson plus Avi Arad plus release date moved three times

  53. Lota says:

    well that made me laugh. yes i forgot about the Arad factor.
    I did like the director’s cut of Daredevil.
    I am Lota, and now I am going to cry 🙁
    good luck to Transformers. I’ll see it despite my distaste for Michael Bay pictures.

  54. EDouglas says:

    “Like most Po-Disciples you say shit that makes no sense and hope we all listen.”
    Wow…calling jeff a “Po-Disciple”…that’s the funniest thing I’ve read all day. I guess Jeff’s like Ryan Gosling in The Believer.

  55. jeffmcm says:

    Yeah, there’s a lot of insanity here.

  56. SpamDooley says:

    What do I care about Transformers?
    I am not a 15 year old kid
    And repeating Po’s bs means drinking the Kool Aid
    I am Spam Dooley and I prefer Funny Face!

  57. jeffmcm says:

    Spam, you have to realize that this is an issue where you are virtually alone, right?

  58. SpamDooley says:

    Mommy Jeff
    Alone in what way? Superman will break even. That’s reality not my pov.
    I am Spam Dooley and I FEED my people.

  59. jeffmcm says:

    ‘Mommy’? That’s a c, not an o.
    The issue is ‘almost all movies make profit’ which is blatantly untrue. Perhaps if you’re talking over a period of decades it becomes more true, but not really.

  60. SpamDooley says:

    Why twist my words.
    I said almost no films lose money.
    This is provably true.
    I am Spam Dooley and I use Garnier Fructis!

  61. jeffmcm says:

    Okay, let’s see the proof.

  62. SpamDooley says:

    Like Thomas who doubted me you would doubt all proof
    Suffice to say, if Lady in the Water say was ultimately going to lose $25m, then Warners would be out of business.
    It’s simple Business.
    I am Spam Dooley and I don’t like the cut of your jib.

  63. jeffmcm says:

    Translation = I don’t have any proof but will bluff my way out of it.

  64. David Poland says:

    Spamy… you are confusing me because you sound like you know less than I assumed you did… you’re people are starvin’ on this one.

  65. palmtree says:

    “When GHOST RIDER bombs, you can be sure that Sony still gets the license fee from whatever vid co. They probably pay a percentage to Marvel but THEY get it.”
    That depends on whether Sony has the videogame rights or if those rights still belong to Marvel. If you know the Superman deal then please share. I personally know of a big franchise movie where the videogame rights are totally separate from the studio. It’s not one size fits all.

  66. jeffmcm says:

    If Lady in the Water were going to lose $25m, WB would not be out of business because their operating figures are on a much bigger scale and include many revenue streams. It’s not like they have to wait for Lady in the Water’s rental money to come in before they can write checks to their operating workforce.

  67. T.H.Ung says:

    Sam Fooley, are you trying to say Amy Pascal gave Mark Steven Johnson final cut? Did you happen to see her on a best of Sunday Morning Shootout this morning. She’s one of the coolest things on 2 feet. If anyone feels the need to bitch about why so many Jewish people work in Hollywood, they should watch this show. Bring it on, I expect this to bring out the worst in people.

  68. SpamDooley says:

    Okay this is tough
    1- Very few films lose money- almost none
    2- No one has proven me wrong
    3- Racist Ung- it is irrelevant whether he had final cut- I never said anything close. I said it will bomb because the character is not well known, Nic Cage is worthless and Johnson is a hack- btw being called a fool by a racist is okay by me
    4- Jeffty- I agree with your statement. So? It will not lose money. It will also not make money.
    5- Palmtree- you have no clue- no studio will proceed without a taste of everything- with Sony Marvel has a joint deal on ancillaries. On the Fox deals Fox raped Marvel. David why do you never report that Marvel’s share of the film revenues for XMen 1-2-3 AND FF is about $6m?
    5- PoMan- I know less huh? Right. And you keep on saying Superman will lose money. It might make it so.
    I am Spam Dooley and I started the Chicago fire!

  69. jeffmcm says:

    1 & 2: you have not provided any evidence to back up your position, merely repeating the same blanket statement over and over again.
    3: Why is he racist?
    4: If something doesn’t make money, and doesn’t exactly equal out at $0.00 profit, by definition it loses money.
    5: See 1 & 2

  70. T.H.Ung says:

    Sam, you’re a ham. It’s spin, not spam. Go to a bar and find out who you are. Fool’s a fire.

  71. SpamDooley says:

    You were an unwilling arse when I first started in this forum and you remain so.
    Fortunately just like you are ignored in real life I can ignore you here
    I am Spam Dooley and I go from zero to sixty!

  72. T.H.Ung says:

    No, you’re truly just a zero.

  73. jeffmcm says:

    Unwilling? I don’t know what you mean. Please spare us your nonsense, both verbal and intellectual.

  74. SpamDooley says:

    Ah look, TinyHung calls me a name in between insulting Jews
    Sucks to be you
    PoMan- THIS is the level of discourse on your board?
    People don’t like to be corrected by knowledge.
    Sucks to be them.
    I am Spam Dooley and I Canoe.

  75. jeffmcm says:

    Spam, I would LOVE to be corrected by you if you could dredge up ONE piece of information to support your claim. I would even give you my personal email address if you’re too shy to post your info publicly.

  76. T.H.Ung says:

    Old friend, would love to see you again. Garden park, in the dark, you are unique, let me get a peek, underneath the stars, in a car, wouldn’t be to far, wonder who you are, today, let’s say, framed, you are named Spam Doody. Jeff just made you a final offer.

  77. Cadavra says:

    God, this is a tiresome thread. Whatever happened to the days when the movies themselves were what people cared about?
    I am Cadavra and you people are all annoying!

  78. Martin S says:

    Spam – “The old development costs are written off in precious fiscal years”.
    Spoken like someone who spends other people’s money. No studio likes to write-off tens of millions, especially for one film. Horn’s only justification for SR is the 70M was squandered under Lorenzo, not him. In Spam’s world, a studio can blow hundreds of millions, wait for the year-end, and expect no reprecussions. Bullshit. It’s called being a division of a corporation. How many movies were thrown into production *because* of the need to show some kind of return?
    Spam – “…But now they own Singer. He’ll go do Castro Street and then Super2 and that will do very well indeed if they lock him to $150 budget as Legendary intends to do”.
    Then why hasn’t Horn done it? Why did he leave Singer out-to-dry at SDCC? They could have at least made the announcement and worked out the fine print later. Didn’t happen though, did it? Why is that?
    Spam – “Don Murphy is producing THREE DC Comics films per Studio Systems”.
    I’m sure you’re not including Iron Man, a Marvel character, on Murphy’s laundry list…I’m sure you know the pussy got his ass booted from the project by Arad. I mean, it’s one thing to get a beatdown by Quentin, it’s another to get pushed around by The Toyman a decade later. He better be careful if he goes to the Transformers set. Bumblebee might make him his bitch.
    Spam – “And? His quote merely said IF they make a TWO then it will have been a plus for Warners. That makes sense”
    Quote – “”If Warners goes ahead with the ‘Superman Returns’ sequel,” says producer Don Murphy (From Hell), “then they’ve ended up well because they’ve gone from having a wannabe franchise to a real franchise.”
    That actually makes little sense. By Murphy’s logic, a sequel to any film means a studio has “ended up well” because the very existence of Part II means it’s a “real franchise”. In other words, it’s not about the audience showing for a sequel, but about forcing a sequel into existence.
    Let keep this Murphy-centric. Those that saw League of Extraordinary Disasters took it as a form of karmic punishment, so no one wants to see a sequel to LOED2 – except Murphy. Why? Because then FOX would have a “real franchise”, for a non-existent audience…or maybe because it’s a guarenteed payday for Donald.
    If this logic was remotely true, we’d have Planet of The Apes 2, Godzilla 2, Van Helsing 2, Daredevil 2, etc…the audience dictates the big sequels, and SR’s reaction has been about as tepid as one gets. WB tracking shows this.
    Here’s the reality – Murphy is cheerleading for SR because he needs WB to look at superhero films as go-to projects for the slate. Because if the biggest name of them all, Superman, tanks, whatfuckinchance does “Deadman” have in getting the greenlight? I don’t think Don could handle all the “Deadman DeadProject” lines.

  79. T.H.Ung says:

    Good, chased that Dooley pest away. It’s argument about SR boils down to this:
    Development costs are written off in previous fiscal years. Negative costs are recovered from Box Office. Profit from worldwide dvd and worldwide pay and free tv PAYS for worldwide marketing, prints and advertising.
    Dooley, from your mouth to jehova’s ear: no studio will ever greenlight a film unless the worst case (a wash) is a lock.

  80. T.H.Ung says:

    This sounds like Enron accounting to me. And I should have said “PAYS for worldwide maketing AND distribution costs AND prints and advertising.”

  81. SpamDooley says:

    God the Baboons have read a few comments and think they understand the difference between Film rentals and weekend grosses.
    You’re all sad fucks trying to prove your lack of manhood on this backwoods board.
    Not sure what your Murphy hangup is Marty- did he not buy one of your hackjobs? All I’ll say to your rant is sequels to some of those films ARE in the works (Apes and Daredeil that I know of for sure) so you are a tool.
    And Murphy doesn’t have to shill for Comic Book movies- they are all doing quite fine and will continue to do so.
    Enjoy the limbo that is your life Marty- you only have suicide to look forward to.
    I am Spam Dooley and Racists don’t chase me!

  82. T.H.Ung says:

    You need help Spam: sources, research – you know how to do it without the BS. Could this be the smoking gun you’re looking for? (Note: keep in mind $18 mil backend gross points to Singer.)
    From Variety July 11, 2006.

  83. jeffmcm says:

    It’s nice to have Spam around to demonstrate what a real internet troll sounds like.

  84. palmtree says:

    “You’re all sad fucks trying to prove your lack of manhood on this backwoods board.”
    How is that different than what you’re doing on this thread?

  85. Wrecktum says:

    Spam Dooley’s insults sound just like Don Murphy’s angry posts on Chud a few years back.

  86. EDouglas says:

    “Spam Dooley’s insults sound just like Don Murphy’s angry posts on Chud a few years back.”
    I think we have a winner in the “Who is Spam Dooley?” contest! What does he win, David?

  87. Blackcloud says:

    “Like Thomas who doubted . . .”
    Wow, it’t not every day that Jesus H. Christ visits a blog. Or are you Jesus Fucking Christ? I always get those two guys confused.

  88. SpamDooley says:

    Rectum (appropriate)- why the obsession with Murphy on this board? He’s never been involved with a good film. Does he insult well? I don’t know. I never have gone to Chud either. I am not insulting anyone- all of these guys ARE douches.
    And BC- I’ll settle for Sir Christ.
    I am Spam Dooley and I walk on water.

  89. Wrecktum says:


  90. T.H.Ung says:

    Spam is a drone. He talks with that digitally generated computer speak from the eighties. You need to come up with a new hook, you’re totally boring us at this point. I vote YAWN too.

  91. SpamDooley says:

    Fortunately neither of you GET a vote.
    I am Spam Dooley and I am Uber Alles!

  92. Martin S says:

    Spam -” All I’ll say to your rant is sequels to some of those films ARE in the works (Apes and Daredeil that I know of for sure)…”.
    There is no POTA or DD sequels on the block. Not when Mechanic was in charge and not under Rothman. POTA was declared dead until a future relaunch, by the fucking producers no less. And DD is in the hangar until Arad can move it out.
    Spam – “And Murphy doesn’t have to shill for Comic Book movies- they are all doing quite fine and will continue to do so”.
    Where’s a Universal-funded Hulk 2? Where’s a Lionsgate-funded Punisher 2? Why was Hellboy orphaned? Why was Watchmen, the bible of comic stories, dropped and now in a holding pattern at WB? I understand that in your fantasyland, none of this matters because everything is a profit, but reality dictates a different message – superhero movies are a trend and after the glut of bad projects in theaters and TV this year, a weeding process is about to commence. So when Variety reports “Deadman hits Dead-End”, don’t cry too hard.
    One last thing from another inane post of yours –
    Spam – “no studio will proceed without a taste of everything- with Sony Marvel has a joint deal on ancillaries. On the Fox deals Fox raped Marvel. David why do you never report that Marvel’s share of the film revenues for XMen 1-2-3 AND FF is about $6m”?
    Marvel and Toy Biz are one in the same. Toy Biz pays Marvel a licensing fee for use of its characters as a kind of legal money laundering. No studio sees a fucking dollar from any toy sale because it’s all in-house.
    Your 6M does not take into account the licensing fee FOX has been paying Marvel for X, FF, DD, Surfer, Wolverine (a separate right), plus one or two more, IIRC. Nor does it take into account the backend bonus Arad pulled from FOX during the whole Mutant X lawsuit. As for Sony, that was heavily renegotiated after the first Spidey film in another lawsuit by Arad because of a breach of contract.

  93. SpamDooley says:

    So much anger and so much stupidity.
    With BATMAN about to begin I’ll just laugh at your assessment about Comic Book films. You don’t know shit.
    No Apes sequel? Again you don’t know shit.
    You don’t know shit about the Fox deal.
    My favorite fucking part is that you think ARAD gained anything from the Mutant X lawsuit. You are even dumber than shit. FOX sued Marvel for ripping off XMEN and Marvel SETTLED with FOX.
    I am Spam Dooley and I laugh at Marty the Retard.

  94. Martin S says:

    Batman, like Spidey and about six others, are in a totally different class of audience awareness. Every studio and real producer knows this. The success of Batman does not mean a boon to the entire genre. Marvel’s track record bares this out. The greenlight had become harder and harder for Arad to get on non-Spidey/X characters, which was a main reason behind securing his own funds.
    The day of superhero project parity is about over, and if WB doesn’t get another legit hit on its hands with Joss’s Wonder Woman, I wouldn’t bet on bottom-rung characters going anywhere. And if Ghost Rider is the bust you claim it’s going to be, that will make it harder for lesser-known characters, especially similar ones like Deadman, to get a greenlight.
    Oh yeah – where’s that Blade spin-off? Goyer’s Flash made any headway? Why would his name be thrown at as doing the ghost-write on Thor if WB is revved up on DC pics?
    Let’s talk a POTA sequel – Zanuck, on record, has said no sequel forthcoming. Burton opted out during the first one. Whalberg has said nothing is planned. FOX has never announced a writer nor had it slated.
    But still, I’m supposed to believe Spam’s the magic man from fantasyland and that means either Winter or someone in-house has been whispering sweet nothings into his ear. Fine. So then Spam’s idea of a sequel is that it doesn’t need to have the original players involved, nor have a storyline that follows any sort of continuity or be in development anytime in the immediate future of the original films release. As long as it’s the same property, it must be a sequel. To Spam then, Begins and SR are sequels and “reboot” is a marketing ploy even though one of the primary concerns for WB was to make sure enough years had passed so the audience did not view them as sequels. And I’m also supposed to believe that Rothman, a guy who wants sequels churned out three years max, decided POTA works on a ten-year slate, even though there’s no guarentee he will be around at that time. Sure. Makes sense.
    And about Mutant X. How is this even possible –
    Spam – “FOX sued Marvel for ripping off XMEN and Marvel SETTLED with FOX”
    How can Marvel rip itself off? They own both properties. Mutant X is a Marvel title just like X-Men. FOX sued because of market confusion. Marvel countersued. The judge said the show could continue as long as it did not reference the X-Universe. Fox was then allowed to continue to pursue a breach of contract. That would have meant a halt on X-Men production until litigation was over, and if Marvel won on any level, they could have split with the X rights – all the while still producing Mutant X. Both sides decided though to settle out of court, which was when Arad got FOX to pay up upon agreeing to bag the show after production and fold all mutant trademarks rights into the X-property.
    It’s been fun, Spam. Great argument you made – less facts, more personal shots. You should be a lawyer.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon